Best Natural Cleaning Products
If you have joined the Green Cleaning movement, welcome! Just a few years ago it was reported that household cleaners were the reason for up to 10% of toxic exposure—and that is just what we know about!
Since then, many companies have begun to produce plant-based, natural, and even organic cleaners that are safe for families to use—so it won’t be the end of the world if your family pet or your children are exposed to the ingredients in these products.
How’s that for safety?!
This is the best product on our list that is currently in stock:
pH balanced formula
Made from plant-derived ingredients
EPA safer choice
GHS Compliant label
Best Natural Cleaning Products
1. J.R. Watkins
All-Purpose cleaner that can remove dirt and grease without the use of harsh chemicals
Leaping Bunny Certified (Animal Cruelty-Free) and No Parabens
Made with Plant-Based ingredients
Proudly Made In the USA Since 1868
The triggers can break easily causing leakage or make the spray non-functional
J. R. Watkins makes an all-purpose cleaner that you can use as a basic go for most of your cleaning needs. It is formulated to remove dirt and break down grease without using harsh, and potentially harmful chemicals. This product is made with plant-based cleaners.Read more
Water, corn-derived ethanol, plant-derived decyl glucoside, plant-derived Cocamidopropyl betaine, as well as naturally derived and biodegradable glutamic acid N, N-diacetic acid tetrasodium salt. There is also a nice fragrance that you get after use from natural oils and food-grade citric acid. The cleaning products in this brand's line are cruelty-free.
They are Leaping Bunny Certified to be sure. Additionally, their formulation contains no harmful parabens.
This brand has quickly become a favorite among green cleaning lovers everywhere. After reading countless reviews, we found that this brand is just as effective--and the best part is that they literally have everything you need when it comes to cleaning products you need in your home.
A cruelty-free product that is able to cut down on grime with harsh chemicals makes this a sound investment for your home or office. It comes at a fair and moderate price.
2. ECOS PRO
pH balanced formula
Made from plant-derived ingredients
EPA safer choice
GHS Compliant label
Not as great with breaking down oils
ECOS PRO is an all-purpose cleaner that is primarily used in the kitchen and bathroom. Its ingredients are plant-based and the EPA has deemed this product a safer choice. It will clean without leaving a streaky residue.Read more
ECOS is one of the most well-known brands on our list and comes highly recommended by long term green product users. The brand has literally everything you need, so you can stock up your cleaning arsenal with this brand if you decide it is right for you!
This product works very well on shiny surfaces like granite or marble. It can break down dirt and buildup on surfaces without leaving a haze or a streaky residue. As a biodegradable product, it is also pH balanced from plant-based derivatives. There are no dyes and it is safe for septic systems. This product can rid debris and grime while deodorizing with the powerful herb parsley. It can be used effectively on any water-safe surface.
The bundle of six you can get online comes at an affordable price. For products recognized by the environmental governing body in the USA, the price is right and it provides a ton of peace of mind.
3. Seventh Generation
Breaks down grease on dishes
Dermatologist tested, hypoallergenic formula made for sensitive skin
0% fragrances, dyes, phosphates, or triclosan
Made with plant-based ingredients
EPA Safer Choice Certified Product, USDA Certified Biobased Product 95%
Doesn't build up a great lather
Seventh Generation makes a plant-based dish detergent that can clean your dirty dishes without added fragrances, dyes, phosphates, or triclosan. It is safe and gentle for anyone to use as it is hypoallergenic and fragrance-free so even those who have sensitive skin can use this product with ease.Read more
Our safe and effective formula using plant-based ingredients that are also EPA Safer Choice Certified. Additionally, it is USDA Certified Biobased Product 95%. The formulation is tough enough to break down grime and lift it away from the dishes.
Incredibly effective, with this brand you will be able to get a lot of different types of cleaning products that get the job done and leave your home smelling clean and fresh.
This biodegradable formulation is just a tad more expensive than other non-organic, less sustainable products they compete with. For more than 25 years, this company has been at the forefront of plant-based products that are tough and that will do the job. Based in Vermont, this is a Certified B Corporation.
The nice thing about B corporations is that they are certified to be better for workers, communities, and the environment as a whole. As such they are also Leaping Bunny sealed and certified so there is no animal cruelty.
4. Better Life
Can clean grease, grime, soap scum, hard water stains and can even be used as a laundry pre-spotter
Free of VOCs, alkylphenol surfactants, and petroleum
Safe for toilets, countertops, appliances, baseboards, walls, floors, tables, showers, marine, recreational and automotive equipment, sporting goods, toys, fabrics and carpet
Not tested on animals
The nozzle can break easily
Not the best for stainless steel or mirrors
Better Life was featured on the shows Real Simple, Oprah, Shark Tank so you may have seen or heard about this product before. A multi-purpose cleaner that is natural that will be an asset for families dealing with peanut butter, spilled juice, toothpaste, even sticky, thick grease.Read more
This product is all-natural and has a pleasing scent that comes from the essential oils and botanical extracts formulated within. You never have to worry about the harsh, harmful, chemicals like Sodium lauryl/Laureth sulfates, Petroleum solvent, parabens, ethers, Synthetic fragrances, Alcohol, ethoxylates, and Dyes.
No worries about dyes, synthetics, sulfates, or petroleum solvents in the mix, this is why you will see the eare fewer warning labels on the packaging. Yet, with all this safe formulation, it still packs a cleaning punch for many messes you deal with daily. This plant-based, a product is packaged with recycled materials and the formula itself is biodegradable.
The formulation will actually break down two-to-five times more rapidly than many of the competition.
While it is difficult to put a price on your health and home and that of your family's health, this product is going to be pricey than traditional formulas. It does work though and will give you a beautifully sparkling clean on most anything while it will also disinfect. It will tend not to streak which makes a nice look, especially on shiny surfaces.
Those who are sensitive to the chemicals and can't take breathing in the fumes can use this and not have their asthma or allergies irritated.
5. Green Works
Naturally derived plant and mineral-based ingredients
No harsh chemicals or residue will be left behind
Works on counters, appliances, stainless steel, sealed granite, chrome, sinks, and toilets
Not the best for cleaning water spots
Bottles have a tendency to leak during shipping
Green Works multi-surface spray uses plant and mineral-based ingredients that eliminate harsh chemicals or harmful residues that are common with traditional products. The formula is biodegradable with a minimum of 95% ingredients coming from naturally derived sources. This product is not tested on animals and packaged with recycled material when they can.Read more
With few exceptions, this product will do the job in the kitchen, bathroom, and throughout your home. it is always recommended to check the product specifications to be sure before using on a surface you aren't sure of. It is also suitable for those who are highly sensitive, have allergies or asthma.
This product can tackle the kitchen to the bathroom without chemical residues or fumes infiltrating your home. The ingredients are mostly naturally derived but they are powerful still, and they will help you keep your pad clean in so many ways. It is definitely going to be a go-to product.
As per the norm with natural products, it is going to be pricier than traditional options. Those who are very sensitive may need these types of product which are more gentle to their systems. It is always helpful to have your home cleaned with products that won't cause you and your family harm.
3X Concentrated = 300 HE Loads/150 standard Loads
Citrus and Grapefruit Seed extracts
Cleans tough stains and odors
Leaves no residue or harsh scent
No artificial fragrance, colors or preservatives
Made in the USA
Isn't great at removing heavy stains
May not effectively remove odors
Biokleen is a laundry liquid that can handle up to 150 standard loads or 300 high-efficiency loads. It uses plant-based surfactants with citrus extracts to support a nice clean and fresh smell. It can be used even on delicate fabrics because it is soft and gentle.Read more
While this company manufactures natural products they also try to do so in a green way. Utilizing green manufacturing practices they aim to make their products with the minimal waste generation or non-renewable and toxic materials.
After doing our research and going through countless reviews, we found that this brand is one of the best out there when it comes to effectiveness and getting the job done. if you want something that actually works, you will love this one for sure.
This is a family-owned and operated and has been creating and supplying naturally clean products to the masses since the late 80s. Using the latest plant-based technologies and only manufacturing in a Natural Products Only Facility, ensuring that not only is the formulation clean and safe but they have limited exposures to hazardous materials--and most of their products are pretty affordable for green options as well.
7. Bon Ami
No chlorine, perfume or dye
Cleans without scratching
Not great at removing stains on white surfaces or on stainless steel
Bon Ami is a polishing cleanser that you can use in most every room you have in your office or home. You won't have to worry about any irritating perfumes, chlorine, or dyes because there are none in the formulation.Read more
If powders and bleach give off irritating residue and toxic fumes that irritate your senses and cause problems for your eyes and lungs when inhaled, this is a product to try. You may need to wipe with a wet rag after rinsing with water to ensure it completely washed out but that takes but a second for the peace of mind of health and safety.
Dried debris and grime, to burned on grease, and baked-on foods, all the way through sticky messes can get a good deep cleaning with this product. Even plumbing fixtures, appliances, and cookware manufacture recommend and swear by this product as a safe and effective way to clean your appliances.
Why? It will do that cleaning job without leaving unsightly and harmful scratching on the surfaces of these pieces.
Coming at a moderate price, the best feature about this is its intense cleaning abilities without giving off a noxious fume or scratching the surfaces of your appliances or tub. This will help you keep things clean while preserving their looks and integrity.
6 x 25-ounce bottles of dishwashing liquid
Plant-based dish soap
Improved grease cutting & ability to lather and suds
Non-toxic, biodegradable formula
0% fragrance, dyes or chlorine
The nozzle can have issues
Can take some serious scrubbing time to get hard stuck-on debris off
Ecover makes a dish liquid soap that uses plant-based ingredients to give your dishes a deep scrubbing and sparkling clean. The formula is biodegradable and very gentle on your skin which helps when you are constantly cleaning dishes on a daily basis, stripping the hands of much-needed hydration.Read more
The formula will break down readily in the environment minimizing impact and the bottle itself will is also made using green technology. Recycled plastics and plant plastics are used in the packaging.
The biodegradable formula is gentle on hands and is non-toxic. You can develop some nice suds in the sink when you are cleaning which will help lift that grime, grease, and dirt off your dishes.
This package comes with 6 bottles and the overall price, as well as unit price, is fair. The environmentally friendly and skin-friendly option this provides is well worth a try. You will have a bunch of bottles to work your way through before you are ready for your next bundle.
9. Earth Friendly Products
Uses naturally pure essential oils of lavender
Specially developed to eliminate unwanted odors and freshen fabric and other surfaces
Phosphate-free, chlorine-free, enzyme-free, dye-free, and free of petroleum ingredients
100% natural, plant-based, non-toxic, biodegradable household cleaners, made with renewable and cruelty-free ingredients
Packaged in a recycled container
The scent may not last long
Scent can be very mild
When you need a quick refresh of your house, whether it be the hamper, the couch, or the rug, a quick spritz of a nice smelling spray can help. Earth Friendly Products makes a spray that can neutralize odors and clean stains without toxins, petrochemicals, bleach, ammonia, phosphates or other harmful ingredients.Read more
This product is color-safe but tough on stains. Odors can build up and be unpleasant in the house from dirt we bring in from the outside to the sweat that gets on our fabrics, it can all be a stinky mess. This product can also keep the stink to a minimum so you can have a fresh-smelling home without the chemical after smell.
If smoking has allowed its stench to accumulate in your home you understand how hard it is to get that smell out of fabric fibers. This product actually rivals some of the traditional scent sprays and can really penetrate deep to flush out that icky smell.
A more costly scent spray that can do wonders on tough odors and even help a bit with some stain fighting. Gentle for most fabrics it doesn't have harmful toxins that you'd have to worry about having around your family.
10. Intelligent Nutrients
Cleans 99% of bacteria on hands while keeping skin soft
Won't strip moisture
No potent alcohol smell
Food-grade certified organic ingredients including peppermint and vanilla essential oils
Chemical-free and triclosan-free
Effective against salmonella, MRSA and E-coli
The container can leak
Intelligent Nutrients is an antibacterial spray that can rid you of 99% of the germs and bacterias that you can pick up on hour hands from touching various surfaces. It will leave a fresh and clean feeling while it won't stip natural hydration from the skin, keeping it still supple and moist.Read more
The great thing about this product versus many lots of others on the market is the strong scent of alcohol you get when you spray. this product doesn't have that strong alcohol smell. The food-grade organic ingredients that include peppermint and vanilla essential oils keep this product smelling alive and floral.
When you don't have access to hot water and soap, the next best thing is an antibacterial spray. Many products that have harsh chemicals can kill everything in sight and make you less able to fight off bad bacteria strains in the future. It will leave the good bacteria and it won't dry out your skin.
Created by "the Father of Safe Cosmetics" Horst Rechelbacher, who formulates environmentally safe products that are hard-working and proven effective as well as maintain the integrity of your natural skin and glow. Plant-based technologies are used to their fullest abilities without the use of fillers or harmful chemicals.
This advancement in quality, sustainable ingredients, and packaging to make this product a bit more pricey.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
When it comes to green cleaning products there are a ton of factors we need to look for when it comes to compatibility with our needs and preferences. What can we clean with them? Are we allergic to any of the ingredients? Are they safe for everyone in the household, including pets? These are just a few of the things we looked for when we evaluated each of our products based on compatibility.
No matter what you're cleaning--whether it's in your home, office, or in a commercial setting--one thing you know for sure is that it will get dirty. To get the right cleaning products, you will need to understand what they are made of and what ingredients are needed to fight the dirt, bacteria, and germs that are on them.
It is always tempting to look at one type of all-encompassing cleaner to use on everything, but a multi-product like this may be good for most surfaces, it can be unsafe or ineffective for others. Tackling spots, spills, stickiness, discoloration, can require more than one product for the best results.
It is important to understand the surface because you not only want to ensure you are effectively cleaning it, but you also want to make sure it has a nice clean appearance, i.e. no streaks, and that you aren't harming the materials that make up the surface. For instance, a cleaner that is more abrasive or requires a more abrasive application will not be a great choice on a delicate surface.
A traditional cleaner with either a higher or lower pH can cause an etching effect that will appear over time on some surfaces that will ultimately be damaging and will look unappealing. Because of this, that surface will need either replacement which can be costly or increased maintenance which can be time-consuming and costly.
When it comes to cleaning products, we definitely want something that works and gets the job down--which is why we evaluated all of our products based on how effective they actually are!
Just like understanding the compatibility with surfaces, the intended use is also important and these can go hand-in-hand. It is always advisable to read the labels of products for two main purposes. So you can see what ingredients are used and how to effectively and safely use them. Some products will not be intended to be used directly without dilution.
If you fail to dilute properly the potency may be too high and can cause damage to whatever it is you are cleaning. Knowing how to use the product and the ease of use of the product will relieve you of potentially a significant amount of frustration. This is especially important to ensure you are getting the proper use of the product.
All in all, we made sure all of the green cleaning products we chose for our list were actually effective. We read countless reviews to see how well they actually work and some have even used (or use) some of the products on our list--so, we can attest first hand to the effectiveness of some of the selections we chose.
Value is not just about money, so make sure you take a look at the cost and everything the green cleaning product has to offer and compare it to how well it will fit your needs and preferences.
While cost is always a consideration, if you are in the market for natural cleaning products, this shouldn't be your chief factor that will determine which product you will buy. That being said, with a wide variety of products and prices on the market, there are very cost-effective products that are natural which can work well for you.
There are a few brands that make natural product lines that are fairly economical. Some work well, while others can be less effective at cleaning than their pricier competition. The bottom line is that if you end up buying an inferior product and end up having to use it twice as much, to get the same cleaning power of a more reputable brand, you really aren't saving too much money in the long run.
So the base price of the actual product when comparing the value, is known as the 'actual cost.' The 'implied cost' would be external factors associated with the product. The health impact on your family which may cause sickness that can lead to downtime and even costly hospital time not to mention potential long-term health risks.
If you are concerned about the environment, the risks of specific chemicals leaching into water supplies or the ground can also cause implications. Therefore, when deciding to use natural products, the actual cost shouldn't be the only thing considered when determining value. The potency of the solution, as well as the purity and associated costs or risks of use, are also a strong consideration.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
When it comes to store-bought cleaning products, basically all of them are filled with harmful chemicals. We all hear of nightmarish stories on dogs licking their paws and falling ill over a cleaning product you have in your home.
Green cleaning cuts out all of that. Green products are Child and pet safe also keeps the air clean and all-around better for you and your family.
Most Green cleaners can tackle multiple cleaning jobs, so instead of having a cabinet full of cleaning products, you might only need two. If you take it a step further and make your own Green cleaning product, in the end, it saves you tons of money.
Other Factors to Consider
The Environmental Working Group or the EWG is an organization that rates products for consumer safety and environmental safety. This organization can help you determine if a product is really as healthy and, pure, and natural as it claims. You can even check out a product you are considering through their website.
They have approximately 507 all-purpose cleaners, 112 brands and 81 companies which have ratings from A to F. Characteristics the EWG looks at including hazardous substances the product contains, credibility of ingredients, number of ingredients within the product that is hazardous, whether the product is transparent with their ingredients, and whether the products are certified green.
They also evaluate and rate the overall value and substance of the product. For those DIYers or those who prefer things as natural as possible having the utmost control over what you use in your home, you can find recipes online that will give you common ingredients to make your own cleansers.
Baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, tea tree oil, and lavender oil are all examples of natural ingredients that can be used in homemade recipes for cleansers. If you decide to make your own homemade green cleaner, we highly encourage you to thoroughly research what is effective and what isn't.
You can easily find a ton of different "effective" recipes--however, just because the surface of your home looks clean with a lot of these options doesn't mean that they are clean. If you make your own make sure you are also ridding your home of harmful bacteria and germs, and not just cleaning it on the surface.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What are some ingredients used in traditional cleansers that can cause a negative health impact?
Quaternary ammonium compounds (quats) are strong agents used to kill germs. These ingredients cause asthma symptoms to act up. Even those who don't have asthma can develop breathing problems with frequent use and exposure to the ingredient. Quats can be found in antibacterial sprays and they can even be found in fabric softening solutions.
Many people are aware of the potential hazards of bleach on the skin, in the eyes, or the harmful effects it can have if inhaled. A very large amount of dishwasher detergent contains bleach, not only can this ingredient cause burns and blindness but it can also trigger asthma. It can also inflict asthma on those who have never dealt with the condition.
Chloroform is thought to be carcinogenic and can be inhaled by-products that are formulated using bleach.
Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen. Its a function is to preserve ingredients or it comes as a by-product of other cleaning preservatives. Citrus and pine oil cleansers are the biggest culprit of formaldehyde use. Even essential oils can have can deal with the harsh effects of formaldehyde.
Sodium borate is an enzyme stabilizer. This can have negative impacts on the hormone system it can also inhibit natural breathing and be the precursor to future breathing issues. This ingredient is most easily known as Borax.
q: How can I tell if a product is harmful to my health?
Only 1 in 7 products are rated by the EWG are rated the quality score of A or B that you'd want to show that they are low in environmental toxicity as well as are transparent in their ingredient formulation.
q: What should I be concerned about regarding to exposure to these chemicals?
Women tend to dominate the cleaning industry and those women that have been professional cleaners for some time will have an increased risk of giving birth to children with birth defects. The main concerns are reproductive problems, cancer, allergies, and exacerbated breathing irritations.
Outside of these, death, especially in infants, eye irritation, as well as internal and external burns can occur with some of these ingredients.
q: Whath is the "hygiene hypothesis?"
It is a scientific theory that aims to explain why there is such an increase in children are having issues with allergies, asthma and other autoimmune disorders. It says that we are sanitizing and over-cleaning our environments so that we are eliminating the beneficial bacteria that is needed us build up a strong and healthy, functioning immune system.
Leaky gut is an issue gaining much more attention these days and could possibly be one of the most dangerous results of our hyper cleaning and sanitation. Eliminating that good bacteria means your body no longer has the checks and balances to keep the bad bacteria from causing harm and as a result, a multitude of negative health effects occurring.
q: What is toxic mold?
The term “toxic mold” is not entirely correct. Some molds can be toxigenic which basically says they can produce mycotoxins. So the actual molds are not the toxic agent it is the byproducts or the production of mycotoxins that are poisonous. It is not very likely that you can completely rid your environment of all molds, there are always going to be some molds somewhere.
They can exist in our air we breathe, or on surfaces, we touch. If you do have a mold problem indoors, then the air you are breathing is unhealthy and as such, this exposure could be the cause for upper respiratory tract symptoms that include coughing and wheezing. It can also cause a tight chest and even be the causation of asthma development.
In general, the best course of action is to regularly work towards measures that will inhibit mold growth and proliferation in your environment.
q: How can you prevent mold from growing in your home?
General routine maintenance should be done. Regular inspections for mold or for water damage that can lead to mold development is key. Water leaks, condensation, infiltration, and flooding are all ways water can get into your walls, windows, or floors and provide that moist environment mold needs to grow. It is highly recommended to:
Ensure your humidity levels are in-check and low. They should not be higher than 50% and you can use a dehumidifier or even an air conditioner to decrease those humidity levels. Because humidity adjusts with the environment throughout the day, you will need to keep an eye on your levels at increments throughout the day to ensure you are meeting that optimal amount of below 50%.
Ensuring you are properly ventilating your home can help. Mold inhibitors can be mixed in with paint. Your carpet acts as a large filtration system in your home and can attract all types of bacteria and grime. If you enjoy the carpet, try to keep it out of rooms that can get moist and be exposed to higher humidity. A bathroom, for instance, would be a place you would not want to install carpet.
And, of course, cleaning regularly with any of the green cleaning products featured on our list above will help as well. Just make sure you dry those hard to reach areas when you clean them. this will help you prevent any mold from growing in those forgotten areas once you clean them up.
- Are Your Favorite Eco-Cleaners Toxic?, Natural Medicine Doctor ,
- Facts about Stachybotrys chartarum and Other Molds, US Governmental Healthy Agency ,
- The Ultimate Guide to Homemade All-Natural Cleaning Recipes, Blog ,